Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting the Shot VI

Paris Sera Toujours Paris 002

So sometimes being a jerk pays off. This was taken on my last night in Paris in the attempt to finally get a decent shot of the Eifel Tower. At a picnic on the Champ de Mars a few days earlier someone had recommended shooting from the Trocadero and since I hadn’t been there yet, it seemed like a good place to check out. Rain had been threating all day and while it never quite materialized, it did produce some pretty nice clouds at dusk. As eager as I was to use those though, I was a little disappointed on getting to the top of the Trocadero. There are basically two levels that you can shoot from – a lower level that would allow me to have my camera up against the railing with nothing in front of it and an upper level directly behind the former. As it happened, the lower level was closed down for some sort of maintenance, forcing me to both shoot from the upper level and having to aim my camera up higher than I would have liked causing the horizon to be lower in the frame (if you look closely, you can see the top of the construction fence at the bottom of the frame).

Anyway, I got there sufficiently early enough that I had my run of area so I was able to set up my tripod exactly on the centerline of the plaza and as far forward as possible. Unfortunately, it was still too light outside, but I started to shoot HDR brackets and wait for the light to change. As it began to get darker, more and more tourists began to fill up the Trocadero to both get photos of the Tower and await the evening light show. I could tell that some people were annoyed that I was set up on the prime shooting location but no one said anything and I knew that if I moved, I’d never get that spot back. When you look at this photo though, it is interesting to note that there are probably a hundred people or more clustered around me as I’m making this shot.

I continued to shoot HDR brackets every few minutes as the light continued to change and even managed to have conversations with an Irish couple that was in town to visit their daughter at University and a French businessman from Toulouse (go Airbus!). By the time I was done, it was pitch black, the crowds were thinning out and I was tired of standing in the same spot for almost three hours. I walked down from the Trocadaro, hiked down the length of the Champ de Mars and caught the Metro back to my hotel.

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